It was out of boredom that Freeport resident Lorraine Sloan started to revisit her love of art.



After Sloan and her husband lost their rental management business due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, money was tight, she said. So on that night of boredom, she started making art based on the materials she found around the house, including a few Walton Suns.



"I took some newspapers and made some paste from flour and water and went to the front porch and started to paper mache," she said.  



Sloan grew up in a large family in Bath, England. As a middle child, she usually kept herself occupied through arts and crafts, which her uncle would help her sell at his pub. It wasn't until now that she had the time to pick the hobby back up.



"It's been like therapy," Sloan said.



Growing up in dreary England, Sloan's artwork is heavily inspired by the beach life. Her pieces include a mermaid hugging a real starfish and a silly-faced fish complete with teeth Sloan molded from clay. The only materials she bought for the works were fake eyes from a taxidermist website.



Sloan spent a couple of hours a day working on each piece. Including the wait time for each layer of paper mache to dry, Sloan estimates one piece takes about five days to complete.



This weekend, you will get the chance to check out and purchase some of Sloan's work made of various media, including her sculptures made from The Sun at the Furry Fest at Gulf Place. The event will benefit HEART Rescue and Alaqua Animal Refuge, where Sloan has volunteered for the past five years. Of her three rescue dogs, two come from Alaqua.



"Places like Alaqua basically survive on donations," Sloan explained. "It's important that the community is behind no-kill shelters. That's how it should be going forward."



For more information about Sloan's artwork, you can contact her at 259-7459.



WANT TO GO? The Furry Fest at Gulf Place will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22. Proceeds will benefit Alaqua Animal Refuge and HEART Rescue.